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Guidelines for buying agricultural land in Quebec in 2024

Agricultural land guidelines in Quebec.

Are you looking for the ideal place to build your future home? Do you dream of living on a farm with animals and raising crops? 

You should know that there are many restrictions that you must know if you want to buy agricultural land. Indeed, it is not as simple as one might think!  

In the following article, we present the various restrictions you need to know if you want to buy farmland in Quebec in 2024!

With the right information, you can make your decision while knowing all the factors involved. Thus, you will thus avoid many glitches and/or undesirable complications!

Get the guidance you need from a licensed real estate agent in Quebec using our short online form! Just fill out the short online form on this page, free of charge, to receive competitive offers.

Understanding the zoning of farmland for sale

Before buying land in Quebec, you need to know and understand the concept of zoning and how it can influence the regulations surrounding your agricultural land.

The zoning of land for agriculture

You must understand that land located in agricultural zones is protected by the Act Respecting the Acquisition of Farm Land in Quebec.

For non-residents who wish to purchase more than 4 hectares of farmland in Quebec, the consent of the Commission de protection du territoire agricole is required.

Thus, there are many regulations that must be followed so that your installations and constructions do not hinder the possible agricultural potential of your land.

Agricultural zoning represents about 2% of the total area of ​​Quebec. In order to ensure the conservation of such land for farming, they are protected by law. During a sale or purchase, the different parties involved are not subject to the same regulations. For the seller, everything remains a little simpler; it is really the buyer who must take certain precautions before deciding to proceed with the transaction.

Things to check before buying agricultural land

Checks can be made with the CPTAQ, the municipality where the farmland is located, or the MRC. Should the Quebec government and the municipality zone the land for agriculture, you cannot build a house on it.

The first thing that a buyer must do before embarking on the project of buying agricultural land is to seek advice from the experts. Indeed, if the buyer wishes to build a home on his new land, it is mandatory to have the authorization of the CPTAQ to proceed with the construction. Here is a quick summary of what the Act respecting the protection of agricultural land mentions:

  • It is prohibited to build a residence or a business that is not specifically related to the practice of agriculture.

  • It is also prohibited to transform any building located in an agricultural environment into a house or a business.

But then, if a potential buyer is not interested in starting a career in agriculture, why would he desire to buy agricultural land? For the simple and good reason that there are exceptions to the restrictions on construction.

Rights acquired for construction

For agricultural regulations and arable land, acquired rights recognize a use or construction that existed prior to the establishment of the Act respecting the protection of agricultural land. Therefore,  if a house was built before the introduction of the law, the dwelling is protected and legitimate despite its presence on the said land. 

With that being said, you must know that even acquired rights have limitations. Despite the presence of a house previously built on agricultural land, the potential buyer must clearly inform himself about the current situation of the lot he wishes to purchase. Allow us to explain it in more detail.

Limits to acquired rights to agricultural land

Studying the possibilities of the farmland or property you wish to buy.

If you buy a piece of agricultural land with a house on it, it does not necessarily follow that you have all rights within your reach. Acquired rights of the owners also have their limitations and it is necessary to be aware of the important details before launching headlong into the project. 

The table below presents the different situations that can put a brake on the very concept of “acquired rights”.

Limitations of Acquired Rights

Brief Explanation


Only one per residence

The acquired right of construction on agricultural land is unique to the residence. If several people live in the house, they cannot all have a different acquired right.


In case of damage from a Fire

The acquired right is present only on the current construction. For example, if it is destroyed by fire, the current owner could only rebuild under certain conditions and within a specific time frame.


The building is not acquired

If it is not an accident, as in the example mentioned above, the owner cannot demolish his current residence to build a new one. He can only renovate it according to certain limits and criteria.

It is worthy to note that the Commission on Agricultural Rights is open to dialogue. You can always contact them to evaluate the possibilities concerning the property of the agricultural land you wish to purchase.

Buying or renting farmland in 2024: Mortgage of farmland

Family enjoying farm life.

Another reality that you must consider is the mortgage process for agricultural land.

You may be familiar with the concept of a mortgage application but the process for agricultural land is more complex and requires more extensive verification. Keep in mind that:

  • You must obtain a certificate that demonstrates that the water present in the dwelling located on agricultural land is suitable for human consumption.
  • You must also obtain a certificate that approves the compliance of your septic tank and that it will not contaminate the water and soil.
  • Finally, you must also obtain a document that clearly explains the flow rate and potability of the well present on the territory.

The mortgage lender may also ask for a higher down payment. Indeed, the down payment could amount to up to 25% of the final price of the property! 

Finally, depending on the situation, the mortgage could only cover a section of the land you own, so it is better to know the real boundaries of your lot. To find out more, it is highly advisable to get professional advice from the experts – experienced and reliable real estate agents and brokers in our network!

Subsidies for the purchase of agricultural land

Best solutions for buying farmland.

After reading this article, you now understand the requirements surrounding the purchase of agricultural land. You have also come to realize that the transaction can be quite complicated.

Rest assured that our partners can help you find the best solutions to assist with your land purchase.

Fortunately, our network consists of the most experienced professionals who can guide and help you throughout the process!

Fill out the form on this page without delay to receive up to 3 quotes from 3 accredited professionals in the field of agricultural land.

With the best-equipped experts in this precise and specialized environment, you will be able to understand the different possibilities open to you and make the most advantageous decision.


Buying or selling a property has a direct impact on your budget and your quality of life. This is why it is so important to have the right person assisting you. Use our service to find a real estate professionnal who truly meets your expectations.

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